- WEATHER AS A FORCE MULTIPLIER: OWNING THE WEATHER IN
- MILITARY APPLICATIONS OF WEATHER MODIFICATION
- In 2025 US aerospace forces can "own the weather"
by capitalizing on emerging technologies and focusing development of those
technologies to warfighting applications. Such a capability offers the
warfighter tools to shape the battlespace in ways never before possible.
It provides opportunities to impact operations across the full spectrum
of conflict and is pertinent to all possible futures. The purpose of this
paper is to outline a strategy for the use of a future weather modification
system to achieve military objectives rather than to provide a detailed
technical road map.
- A high risk/high reward endeavor, weather modification
offers a dilemma not unlike the splitting of the atom. While some segments
of society will always be reluctant to examine controversial issues such
as weather modification, the tremendous military capabilities that could
result from this field are ignored at our own peril. From enhancing friendly
operations or disrupting those of the enemy via small-scale tailoring of
natural weather patterns, to complete dominance of global communications
and counter-space control, weather modification offers the warfighter a
wide range of possible options to defeat or coerce an adversary.
- Technology advancements in five major areas are necessary
for an integrated weather modification capability: (1) advanced nonlinear
modeling techniques, (2) computational capability, (3) information gathering
and transmission, (4) a global sensor array, and (5) weather intervention
techniques. Some intervention tools exist today and others may be developed
and refined in the future.
- Current technologies which will mature over the next
thirty years will offer anyone who has the necessary resources the ability
to modify weather patterns and their corresponding effects, at least on
the local scale. Current demographic, economic, and environmental trends
will create global stresses that provide the impetus necessary for many
countries or groups to turn this weather modification ability into a capability.
In the US, weather modification will likely become a part of national security
policy with both domestic and international applications. Our government
will pursue such a policy, depending on its interests, at various levels.
These levels could include: unilateral actions, participation in a security
framework such as NATO, membership in an international organization such
as the UN, or participation in a coalition. Assuming that in 2025 our national
security strategy includes weather modification, its use in our national
military strategy will naturally follow. Besides the significant benefits
an operational capability would provide, another motivation to pursue weather
modification is to deter and counter potential adversaries.
- In this paper we show that appropriate application of
weather modification can provide battlespace dominance to a degree never
before imagined. In the future, such operations will enhance air and space
superiority and provide new options for battlespace shaping and battlespace
awareness. "The technology is there, waiting for us to pull it all
together;" in 2025 we can "Own the Weather."
- A RESEARCH PAPER PRESENTED TO AIR FORCE 2025
- 2025 is a study designed to comply with a directive from
the chief of staff of the Air Force to examine the concepts, capabilities,
and technologies the United States will require to remain the dominant
air and space force in the future. Presented on 17 June 1996, this report
was produced in the Department of Defense school environment of academic
freedom and in the interest of advancing concepts related to national defense.
The views expressed in this report are those of the authors and do not
reflect the official policy or position of the United States Air Force,
Department of Defense, or the United States government.
- This report contains fictional representations of future
situations/scenarios. Any similarities to real people or events, other
than those specifically cited, are unintentional and are for purposes of
- This publication has been reviewed by security and policy
review authorities, is unclassified, and is cleared for public release.